When Hep died, the program gave it's final breath of ever being competitive. His death has never been fully recognized for the impact he had. He had a true passion for the program and his players and was also a pretty good coach.
I don't see gameday ever coming here. Basketball should and will get just about every dollar of revenue for the foreseeable future. There is no doubt the next item on the AD's agenda is a new or renovated stadium for BBall, and the second item is probably the same for soccer.
Honestly though, I've never been able to understand why IU can't at least put together a respectable football program. I mean, if Purdue can why can't IU? It's not like IU doesn't give the program resources or anything.
I just think it's hard to realize how much we just don't care about IU football. Hep made us care for a while, I was a student then and we went to games and had fun and actually saw the light at the end of the tunnel that beckoned for us to actually be good and then he died and everything changed. EVERYTHING. Letting Bill Lynch take over did not help matters. I firmly believe that if Hep had been the coach of the Lynch team that made the Sun Bowl or whatever it was, that team should have won 9 games that year, but because Lynch is maybe the worst football coach I have ever seen, they struggled to get 7 and coughed up 2 or 3 wins along the way.
Maybe this week's game means more than we thought?
How can you not laugh?
You guys are so melodramatic. Our football program will never be relevant? I'm sure that's what Kansas State fans said before Bill Snyder showed up. Same story with Oregon before the Nike money/Rich Brooks pumped life into their program. If you can win at Kansas State, you can win at Indiana. I think there is a passion for football lurking within our fanbase--I'm certainly not ready to just say, "Okay, our football program is going to suck forever no matter what. Who gives a ****?" The program has potential.
Melodramatic? I'm not being dramatic. I'm being realistic. We suck. We've sucked for a long time. We've tried new coaches, established coaches.
If you're referring to me and the Hep stuff about being dramatic, well that was dramatic that was a huge blow to the program. We got an honest to goodness enthusiastic and good coach to come to IU, from a job at Miami of Ohio that he probably could have had for life and was having success with. I don't know when we will see that kind of hire present itself to IU football again,
That's what we said before Bill Mallory arrived. That might be what we said before Lee Corso arrived (I wasn't old enough to remember IU football before Corso was hired, but as I've said IU football was an even bigger deal around our house growing up than IU basketball.)
And there's something to this trend, we need to hire a really solid MAC head coach who's ready to jump to the Big Ten.
Hep did bring energy. What happened to him was a shame.
DiNardo, however, was never given much of a chance. So in order you've got the DiNardo termination which was iffy, hiring Hep which was brilliant, Hep's health which was tragic, and then a series of complete cluster-you-know-what's. This program is not terminal. But it needs serious help and I don't think Wilson's "lets lose 44-40" approach is going to work.
I, personally, can't wait for IU football to be credible again. 1987-1991ish was a lot of fun to be in the top-20 nearly every week.
Maybe the basketball program's resurgence will cause enough money to get thrown about that football sees some improvement, but what more can you do? We have top notch facilities so I don't see a chance to improve there. Maybe Wilson just sucks that much, he does not get me excited at all.
I'm glad to say that I attended IU when we were actually relevant for a football season. I was a sophomore in the fall of 2007. That was a fun time around campus. Our football team was actually decent and we had Eric Gordon to look forward to in the winter.
The biggest mistake after Hep's death was retaining Lynch just because the team made it to a bowl game. What a waste of time that was.
Also, I hate having the Big Ten logo on our jerseys. Court doesn't bother me, but having it on our unis does.
Kevin Wilson killed IU's first down song? This guy...
There were two problems during the Randel El years; (a) it was clear that was a one-man team; and (b) it was clear that Cam was going to be a carerr OC, not a head coach. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and you can't really fault IU for giving a coach "of their own" with a great reputation as an assistant a chance at HC. It didn't work, but that was a reasonable thing to try.
So I haven't had much excitement for IU football since before Mallory's team collapsed. :sigh:
I think Wilson and Lynch were equally terrible decisions.
I wanted to hire Mike Leach, warts and all, even though he had been fired from Texas Tech. He could find wideouts, a QB, and lineman here like he did at Tech, where they were way behind about 8 other Big 12 schools in tradition.
I understand it was politically unwise, maybe even unthinkable to the board, but he is among a handful of true innovators in coaching. It might still be 44-41 football, but I'd bet we'd win some of them.
I have no confidence in Wilson on either side of the ball, at this point.
The problem wasn't Hep dying per se (although if he hadn't died that team goes 8-4 maybe 9-3) what killed the program was Lynch took everything Hep built and tore it down through stupidity. We had that one year where we could have lured away an established coach from somewhere and we wasted it. Now the best we can get is a coordinator that we have to overpay.
If you look into it you'll find out Leach was done completely wrong by Texas Tech. His only real warts are that he's pretty eccentric and doesn't do well with the gladhanding type stuff that comes with being a head coach, kissing boosters' butts and all that. I was begging for Purdue to hire him (or Sumlin) before this year even though that's about the worst fit in the world culture wise.